30 Sep 2011

Massey teacher training plan worries students, union

9:10 pm on 30 September 2011

Students and a teacher union are worried by a Massey University proposal to phase out primary and early-childhood teaching degrees.

From 2013, the university is considering abandoning the four-year and three-year programmes for a one-year postgraduate qualification.

Massey already offers a one-year programme, but most students take the longer ones.

The university says the change would strengthen its research culture and would not produce inferior teachers, but the university's College of Education students association says one year is not enough time to learn to be a teacher and the university should not take away the option of a teaching degree.

The primary teachers' union, the NZEI, agrees, saying the proposal to dramatically shorten the teacher training programme will harm teacher quality.

Its president, Ian Leckie says it is well recognised professionally that students need three years of training to come to grips with the full process of being a teach.

He says NZEI is worried other universities will also abandon their three- and four-year teaching degress if Massey goes ahead with the proposed change.

Massey University says some schools prefer teachers who do the shorter qualifications.